The Riggs Blog

2014 Creativity Seminar on Translation - August 1-2

The annual Creativity Seminar sponsored by the Erikson Institute for Education and Research of the Austen Riggs Center will be held Friday-Saturday, August 1-2, 2014 at the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, MA. 

Seminar co-director, Ellen Handler Spitz, PhD, recently shared her thoughts about the seminar:

It has been my delight to participate in the Creativity Seminars since 2008, when I was Erikson Scholar at Austen Riggs and to help foster the mission of these seminars which, following upon the enduring work of Erik H. Erikson, are meant to open and pursue meaningful dialogues with disciplines beyond the clinical realm but closely allied with it.  To be a successful clinician, one draws, beyond theory, upon inner resources of imagination and empathy. The arts through their myriad subtle, sometimes forceful, techniques develop our capacities to imagine and to empathize. Thus we bring the worlds of art and therapeutic engagement together.  In so doing, we hope to stimulate new insights and breakthroughs of understanding.

I have chosen translation as our theme this summer because the processes (both active and passive) of carrying over from one realm to another is core to clinical work and to creativity in the arts.

  • Conductor Sarah Jobin will speak about her translations of music into gesture as she communicates silently with her orchestra so as to convey her sense of the way music can sound;
  • Theater directors Landis and Jennifer Smith will perform their translations of the pages of children's rhymes and stories into enchanting spectacles on stage by engaging puppets, masks, scrims, fabrics, and sound and explore their methods of doing so;
  • Visual artist Pradip Malde will demonstrate and explain routes by which many meanings and associations are implicit in the imagery produced by our cameras;
  • Psychoanalyst Phillip Blumberg, PhD, will offer a presentation in which he traces how patients' feelings and dreams are translated into words in dialogues that occur in the consulting room. 
  • Eminent child psychiatrist Linda Mayes, MD, of the Yale Child Study Center, will bring her many-splendored knowledge of childhood into our midst as she leads one of the afternoon's small groups.

We offer this rich and varied program to inspire our colleague-participants to discover ever-expanding ways to better understand the workings of the human psyche as well as to engage more creatively in our understanding of our basic relations with one another.

Just as Freud and the early pioneers in dynamic therapies - Erik H. Erikson, being primary among them - were steeped in the arts and culture, wrote voluminously about them, and drew freely on them, so we continue in their path to probe these connections.

To register for the Creativity Seminar, visit: http://www.austenriggs.org/event/2014-creativity-seminar.

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